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FISHING AT AKAROA.

FINE SPORT LITTLE INDULGED IN,

THE PLEASURE OF A DAY'S OUTING.

The pleasuro of a daj's deep sea fishing off the coast of the southern bays of Bankt> Peninsula, along the hapuka banks of North Canterbury Bight ia little known, even to Akaroa residents, while visitors to the town never realise what wholesome sport awaits them after a short launch run from the f»iv ourite tourist There are a few Aka.roa residents and some keen fishermen living in the Bays who take advantage of the know ledge they have of this deep sea fishing, and seldom a week passes that they do not spend a day indulging in this oaptivating eport. Undoubtedly, if the possibilities of such sport were realised fully end made known: to visits ing eportsmen, fishing would haye 1 a very great attraction for many who spend weekend motor trips and other holidays here. The fishing party generally consists of about eight persons who can be nicely accommodated in ono of the largest launches. They leave usually about eight o'olook in the morning, but it is advisable to leave even earlier, The conditions to be perfeot provide for the wind; in the north east or easterly quarter, and the lighter the better. With a beautiful sun shining down upon the pretty bays of the harbour, the launch ploughing her way through the calm waters of Frenoh Bay, you

throw off your coat anl open your shirt front drinking in the 000 l brerze created by the movement of tbelaunoh Akarcalook3its bast nestled among its beautiful trees nnl valleys the light hazs from the breakfast fires bang

ing over it. Everything is still except for an odd seagull which sits on the whavf arul has an ocoa ional dive into the water, upturning to his perch '.6 bathe in {he morning sun, Akaroa is soon lost to view as the launch rcu:i:ls the Memor al Point buoy, and the anticipation for the op<;n sea and tho «pitt H is to r;aliso ootupie3 every oue of the crew They are mostly ail oocupied in preparing eir lines for active seryice. In fact, the launch is gr pared for action—the seats arH floor being covered with sacking, and a large zinc lined oase is placed in the middle of the oockpit to receive the fish, Barracouta lines are the first consideration, and these are easily got ready. A piece of stout timber about four inohes long and half an inch Ihick, flat on both sides, is noosed to a lineOn the wood are Bplined two medium s'zed hooks, and they are ready. A3 the launch open 3np the Kaik, a view of the open sea comes into view, and soon after the li'ie rocks of Dan Rodgers are passed. A light swell and bre , z°, a warm sun, and a beauti , tui view with the prospect of the good sport that awaits them outside is likely to f.xhila - rate the mosfplaoid person into expressions ot delight. There are things of interest everywhere. A porpoise will spring into tbe air, or gurgle end roll on the surfaoe a" it follows tha boat. Thee is the wonderful beauty of the mighty deep with its myriad spec es of life rolling on resistlessly as it teems until it dashes upon the rugged coast at the foot of tbe South or Iron Head. The mirk* on this mighty mass of rock where some warship has tried the effectiveness of a modern shell, leaving a dent which makes one realise what force the modorn gun belches forth. Then there are birds everywhere. A lovely blue heron—a rare bird — Sits quietly by itself in the sun above the splash tf the waves. The rocks at the bottom of the cliff 3 are white with the pretty little sea tern or whale bird, and a combined shout by the party sends up a white cloud of shrieking white life—a sight that would be invaluable to a kinematogrßph pho'ographer —the spotless white and black mass almost obliterating the sun's as it whirls overhead. The molly hawk h always a sure attendant as he fkat-es along the water and waits for titbits from l! c launch, and shags are inquisitive and plentiful. The launch then proceeds along one of the most rugged coasts on the New Zealand coast line. Scenery Nook is tucked away in this massive wall of rock, and the sun upon its many coloured rocks can be seen from a long distance. The first stop is mode i-.t Wbakamoa or Island Bay, where the nets are shipped into the dinghy and set among the kelp that clings to the rooks in the bay. A glance along the fhore of these bay shows cv dence of the old whal ing days when Captain Hernpleman and his fellow whalers boiled down many a right whale and carried on a profitable industry The whale bone lice bleaching in the sun still, and a whale pot or cauldron used for boiling down the erjoil are still to be found there. Then all make ready for see, ana the launch is soon under way bound for the hapufea grounds,

EXCITEMENT OF BABRACOUTA FISHING.

Before the launch has cleared tha bay three barraoouta lines are thrown overboard and trailed after the launch. A i_roup of sea birds denotes the presenae of fish, and soon the fiihermen are in the middle of the most exciting fhhing the sea can provide. The launch sion runs into a ehoal of fish, whioh tackle ihe line with a marvellous willingness, and the party are kept busy hauling the cv.cb aboard. There is a sudden tug and splash, the barracouta is hooked, and comes eplashing along the water as it is hauled aboard. It ia thrown into the box, hit on the heat, releases the hook, and away goes the'line The kepnness of the fish makes the sport exciting, for no sooner is the line in the water again than it is attacked with the greatest voraoity. The fishermen fish in spells, and in half an hour ovev a cwt. of these long silvery blue fish are captured. Oue party reoently landed four or five hundred of these fish in a very short spaca of time, but in the course of an hour it is quite easy to obtain a catch of a hundred fish.

THE HAPUKA GROUNDS,

After the excitement of barracouta fishing hapuka fishing is almost slow. When the launch is three or four miles from shore she drops anchor, and the lines go out for hapuka. The shoals of barracouta . have attracted sharks, and one about eight or tan feet long, a blue shark, is seen close at hand. The lines also give evidence of thie, for one of the party soon lands an ugly brute about six feet in length with a cruel looking row of teeth. It is gaffed and bauled over the side, where it is despatched with a '"bludgeon" and taken aboard for bait, The hapuka soon begin, and there is no mistaking their pres- , ence on the line, It Is a heavy fish to haul up, but displaje very little activity when hooked usually. The weight of these fish, about twenty of which were caught within two hours, ranges from lOlbs to half a hundred weight, A blue shark, Eomewhat smaller than the first, is cauht and hauled aboard. Ling i? another fish commonly oaught on the hapuka banks.

THE NET FISH,

The party have now well filled their case, and caught about balf a ton of fish. The anchor is hauled up, and the launch returns to the nets. This is perhaps .the most in terestiDg feature in the day's eport, as the fish are the most palatable, Out of four nets over a hundred beautiful moki, butter fisb, kelp fish, and teraki, or "Jimmy Stewarts," are taken, the moki predominating. In one net alone over forty big fat moki are taken, and the sea seems to veritably teem with fish.

A launch party usually gets about five owt. of fish on a favourable dsy, and one has only to go through the pleasant experience once to realise what a day's sport awaits him, Financially, each member of the parly is a gainer, as it only costs him five shillings for his day's outing, and he gets as much fish as he can carry away.

PROSPECTS OF A THRIVING

INDUSTRY

Looking at the fishing at Akaroa from a a commercial point of view, there is a prospect o! a thriving industry. In good weathr r two men with a good launch could make £20 a week, and were there a refrigerating plant installed in Akaroa a thriving industry could be carrii don here. The iooftl sale of fi-h alone would be a big income when th< town is full of visitors, and tha siup'ua could be disposed of in the Chrietcburch market A small fish mart could ea-iiy be run in Akaroa, and would pay handsomely. Fish is a wholesome and cheap food stuff and always meets with a ready demand, There is no reason why the fuhintr possibilities of the place should not be develeprd, so that a small fleet of fishing boats could carry on this trade during the fishing season,

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AMBPA19140227.2.7

Bibliographic details

FISHING AT AKAROA., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXII, Issue 4375, 27 February 1914

Word Count
1,548

FISHING AT AKAROA. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXII, Issue 4375, 27 February 1914

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